My Courses

The courses I highlight here indicate opportunities to do intentional sociology and provide service learning opportunities in Fredericksburg, which enhance active learning in students as well as develop connections to the local community and empathy for others. Courses are “hands-on” laboratories where students conduct research projects for one of several community organizations. The research students conduct is complicated, intense, and meaningful. Assignments provide students with practical research experience, including the challenge of negotiating with community partners. Using data they have collected themselves is a much less abstract way of introducing students to sociological research. Students are more likely to retain the material, and write it up more effectively, when they are actively involved in the research project. Above all, they have learned to be flexible in social science research, balancing their own learning agendas and schedules with the needs of the organizations.